Superlarks upset Lyle/Pacelli

Published 11:20 pm Monday, January 24, 2011

Lyle/Pacelli's Maggie Lewison, left, and Grand Meadow's Haley Hanken, right, battle for a loose ball in the first half of the Superlarks' 50-46 win in GM Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

GRAND MEADOW — The Grand Meadow girls basketball team didn’t have its best offensive night, but a fast start and some strong rebounding lifted them to a 50-46 of Lyle/Pacelli in GM Monday.

The Superlarks (2-14 overall, 2-12 SEC) scored the first nine points of the game and L/P never tied or took the lead the rest of the way.

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“This is a huge win and the fast start was a big confidence boost,” said GM sophomore point guard, Autumn Thorsen, who had 13 points and three steals. “Once we kind of get going with a lead, we just keep going with it.”

Lyle/Pacelli's Ann Rysavy draws a foul on Grand Meadow's Hillary Churchill while dribbling the ball up the court during the first half in Grand Meadow Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

The Athletics (10-5 overall, 10-3 SEC) had their second lowest scoring game of the season in the loss. They forced 34 turnovers, but couldn’t turn those into points.

“We just couldn’t get anything to fall and a lot of people were standing around watching. It was really frustrating for a lot of girls, because they couldn’t get shots to fall,” L/P head coach Brad Walter said. “We had some transition opportunities and a lot of them just rolled off the rim. If you don’t make the easy ones, that’s what happens.”

L/P’s best run was at the end of the first half when they scored five quick points to close within 25-20 at the break. But Thorsen drilled a three to open the second half and L/P didn’t get back within five until Nyabang Diang hit two free throws to make it 46-41 with 2:48 left in the game.

Diang finished with 27 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks, but the only other L/P player with more than four points was Madison Truckenmiller who scored all nine of her points in the second half.

Thorsen held L/P’s point guard Ann Rysavy to three points and Hillary Churchill had a big game inside for the Larks as she had nine points and 16 rebounds.

“I think Hillary and Autumn both took control and this is what we’ve been looking for,” GM head coach Dawn Baudoin said. “This was a big time win for us because L/P is an excellent team.”

Churchill hit nine-of-12 free throws, but it was her defense in the middle that gave GM, which won the rebounding battle 53-40, a big boost.

“We really hustled tonight and played hard. We talked a lot more than usual,” Churchill said.

Grand Meadow's Hillary Churchill (25) pulls down a rebound amongst a crowd as Lyle/Pacelli's Nyabang Diang, right, contends in Grand Meadow Monday. The Superlarks bested the Athletics 50-46. -- Rocky Hulne/

The last five minutes of the game were frantic as both Rysavy and Thorsen had both fouled out. GM was able to control the ball with some of its back-ups.

“It was a little nerve racking, but Stephanie (Russell) and Rachel (Oehlke) stepped up,” Baudoin said.

L/P had its defense directly affected by Rysavy’s foul trouble as the Athletics weren’t as aggressive as they would’ve liked to have been in the second half.

“Foul trouble killed us,” Walter said. “Nyabang and Ann run the show for us and when they get in foul trouble in changes everything. We had to sit back in a two-three zone instead of our man-to-man press and then we got complacent.”

The win for GM snapped a five-game losing streak and the loss for L/P stopped a five-game winning streak.

L/P 20 26 — 46

GM 25 25 — 50

GM scoring: Autumn Thorsen, 13; Hillary Churchill, 9; Stephanie Russell, 8; Hailey Hanken, 6; Cortney Olson, 5; Audra Durhman, 4; Beth Mallory, 2; Ashley Crumb, 1; Rachel Oehlke, 1; free throws: 69 percent (25-for-36); rebounds: 53 (Churchill, 16); turnovers: 34

L/P scoring: Nyabang Diang, 27; Madison Truckenmiller, 9; Abby Leif, 4; Ann Rysavy, 3; Maggie Lewison, 2; Lauren Rieker, 1; free throws: 55 percent (16-for-29); rebounds: 40 (Diang, 18); turnovers: 21